On Sunday, 7 June, Stockport and District Mind and SPARC held the second Stockport Mental Health Alliance Big Lunch at Progress House in Cale Green. Around 70 people attended to be given good food to promote better mental health.
With music and dance, including the chance for visitors to join in, the event provided a great opportunity for people to relax and have fun. There was a tombola and a plant sale as well as information on obtaining help in coping with mental distress. Outside Zehara and Jan’s Urban Gypsies dance group entertained visitors and encouraged people to join in, while indoors the SPARC music group played a variety of songs.
The Big Lunch is Lottery funded and was started by The Eden Project to help prevent social isolation. To bring communities together and get neighbours talking. It also ties in with the Five Ways to Wellbeing which are promoted to improve mental health:
- Connect – The Big Lunch gave people the opportunity to meet and talk
- Be Active – the Urban Gypsies troupe to dance with and vegetable and herb seeds to grow
- Take notice – SPARC’s beautiful grounds and great food to enjoy
- Learn – learning to dance and having the opportunity to grow plants and herbs
- Give – a great way for people to give their time and attention to others.
Stockport Mind Social Worker, Natalie Wright, said: “The Big Lunch gave people the chance to meet others on a Sunday, often the most isolating day of the week. Our volunteers on the day helped to bring people together, while the entertainers created a fun atmosphere for visitors. Our aims were to raise awareness of mental distress, to help people connect, and to have fun. We achieved all of this and more. Hopefully the connections made between people today will continue long after.”
Several Stockport firms made a magnificent contribution to the event, including Morrisons Cheadle Heath and Bredbury stores who supplied the food, and Gresty’s Florist who kindly provided plants to sell. Woodford Garden Centre (Notcutts), B&Q Stockport and Wyevale Garden Centre Marple all generously gave seeds, tools and other gifts to give away.